No WiFi?… Holiday ruined, we won’t be back

holidayLogging in while on holiday can be a tricky thing for families and rules need to be drawn up so nobody gets too pissed off.

The one that is currently in favour in my household is to go online for an hour at breakfast; all members of the family on their devices – kids doing games and Instagram, parents doing work. After that, it’s over to the analogue world of swimming, running, basking and dreaming.

But for many people on holiday, especially those staying at hotels, unreliable or non-existent WiFi can ruin a holiday and in process destroy a hotel’s reputation and brand. Moreover, one in three holidaymakers will never return to the same hotel chain after such an experience.

These data comes from a report by wireless network provider NETGEAR who polled 2,000 people on their WiFi expectations on holiday. An inefficient service can even lead to some lurking in hotel corridors or perching on window sills to get online… or temporarily leaving their family to spend hours in local coffee shops.

“WiFi access on holiday is now a basic need. Hotels must wake up to this fact and take action. Guests should be allowed to choose for themselves whether or not to connect, not to have that decision made for them by the hotel,” said said Jonathan Hallatt, regional director UK, Ireland & South Africa for NETGEAR.

To read the full report, please click here.

Brandwatch back to the future with Hindsight

brandwatch_hindsightSocial media analytics company Brandwatch has launched Brandwatch Twitter Hindsight, which provides its customers with the ability to retrieve all relevant Tweets since 2006, as well as enjoy continued access to full real-time Twitter data.

While other platforms in the industry only offer up to two years of Twitter data, Hindsight offers access to the full eight years of public Tweets since Twitter’s inception. This new Hindsight functionality within Brandwatch Analytics allows agencies and brands to:

* Uncover new angles for campaign planning by accessing tailored data snapshots for year-on-year campaign tracking, trend projection, and analysis of recurring or specific events from the full Twitter corpus

* Confidently share insights about the historical impact of past marketing activities

* Produce richer, more insightful analysis and reporting through unbridled access to complete Twitter dataset from the first Tweet in 2006

Brandwatch Analytics has been a Twitter Certified Product since May 2013 and was also the first company to offer full Twitter data through the Brandwatch API in partnership with Twitter-owned Gnip.

“Hindsight is a game changer. Brands and agencies want access to curated, high-quality data. Better data means better insight. We all know that hindsight is 20/20 and now our customers can see clearly what’s working and what isn’t.

“This is the first of several exciting product announcements we have coming up which we believe are new, are different and collectively lead the industry from analytics to real social intelligence,” said Will McInnes, Brandwatch CMO.

The Brandwatch data archive, including mentions from blogs, forums, news sites, incidental Tweets and other sites, dates back to 2010 and is available to Enterprise users as part of their subscription. Brandwatch Twitter Hindsight is available for Enterprise customers at a minimal fee. For more information,

Accelerator Swarm offers start-ups crypto-currency funds

SwarmBitcoin 2.0 Platform Swarm, ‘the world’s first’ distributed accelerator that allows companies to raise funds by issuing their own crypto-currencies, is taking applications from UK crypto-currency startups for its new accelerator programme in London.

The 12-week programme will focus on helping startups grow their businesses through a combination of peer-to-peer mentoring, technical assistance and access to resources designed for startups in crypto-currency and its surrounding ecosystem. Continue reading

Collins English Dictionary launches new word search on Twitter

Collins_DictionaryIn a so-called ‘new development for dictionary publishing’, the Collins English Dictionary is using data from Twitter to identify new words, and asking Twitter users to vote on which one should be included in the next edition of the dictionary.

Every year new words come and go, but online interaction and social media have speeded up the process as new words and ideas go viral. Lexicographers at Collins are using Twitter’s powerful data as a research tool to help uncover new and emerging words on the internet, to study their usage, and measure their popularity. Continue reading

The lyrics and video of Hurricane by Bob Dylan – #RIP Rubin Carter

Rubin Carter is dead, four decades after he was stitched up by the American Old Bill. Even those who think that Dylan can’t sing love this song. I heard it the first time with stoned mates in a car on the way to see The Wall (Pink Floyd film) in Leicester Square (London).

It was also the first song I ever heard on a Walkman when I borrowed one outside Delhi airport in the middle of travelling. When I heard he had been freed from jail I started shouting when I was in a chauffeur-driven car with an ex-girlfriend’s father – “Was there something on the news that interested you, Monty?” said the toff. You bet there was, mate.

It is an amazing song and did amazing things in the dark times of 1970s American justice and racism. Here are the words (that all good Dylan fans know by heart): Continue reading